The Joslyn carbine Model 1864 also called the Second Model used an innovative breechloading, single-shot, .52 caliber rimfire system invented and was patented by Massachusetts gun designer Benjamin Franklin Joslyn in 1861. His company, the Joslyn Fire Arms Company of Stonington, Connecticut, produced two models for the U. S. government, the Model 1862 and Model 1864. The early Model 1862 used the percussion ignition while the later Model 1864 used the rimfire system. Designed for field use with Federal cavalry, the Joslyn was simple to use and employed a rimfire cartridge very much like the Spencer’s .56-.56 cartridge or its own special .54 Joslyn cartridge. Joslyn’s unique loading arrangement consisted of pulling out the breechblock knob, pivoting the breechblock up and to the left and then inserting the round. However, Joslyn’s single-shot design was as not as popular as the Spencer repeating multi-shot rimfire capability so Joslyn carbines were retired from service at the end of the war.
The particular carbine specimen presented here is a very fine, original example of that engineering design referred to as the Joslyn Model 1864 carbine. The US government contracted for a total of over 16,500 Joslyn carbines during the war. This weapon, in excellent, strong condition, has a fine appearance and bears serial # 13519 on top of the breechblock and barrel tang. The barrel also marked with inspector initials of “GWS” on the left side barrel flat. The lockplate was casehardened and exhibits a smooth, dark plum colored patina overall. The M1864 Joslyn carbine has a 22” long barrel fitted to a one-piece walnut stock / forend. Weapon has an overall length of 38½”. The barrel retains much of its original bluing now dark but in excellent condition.
The casehardened lockplate and mountings have a dark patina with no traces of color left. Lockplate in front of the hammer is stamped with “JOSLYN FIRE ARMS Co / STONINGTON CONN / 1864” while the rear of the breechblock exhibits the clear patent stamping of “B.F. JOSLYN’S PATENT / OCTOBER 8TH 1861 / JUNE 24th 1862”. Stamping is thin in one spot, else very sharp. Two-leaf rear sight has a “V” notch and sits at the rear of the barrel while at the front is a large pinched sight.
The bore is very bright and sharp with fine rifling and very minor scattered areas of light oxidation. The mechanics are very strong and tight. The fine walnut stock is in excellent original condition and displays normal dings and scratches storage. The steel sling bar and sling ring are tightly attached to the left side of the stock. All screws are original and in very good plus condition. Remaining metal surfaces of the carbine are dark plum and exhibit tiny pinprick rusting scattered about. Steel butt plate is strong and wears a mottled dark gray coloring. Has “US” stamped in the butt tang and inspector marks “FDL” pressed into the wood just above the tang.
This Civil War Joslyn Model 1864 carbine is an excellent representative weapon used by the Federal cavalry during the Civil War.